NPR: Farms and people all foul the bay
Chicken farming's impact on the Chesapeake Bay has been in the news lately. For another take on the issue, National Public Radio just did a two-part report on how the bay is being polluted by farms as well as by nearly 17 million people living in the bay watershed.
In the first piece, aired Wednesday, Eastern Shore farmer Carole Morison (shown above, in 2007) explains that she quit raising chickens last year because she believed she was polluting the bay. As a counterpoint, New York dairy farmer Bob Aman says he and other farmers are doing what they can to prevent pollution. He contends there's as much pollution coming from lawns and detergents. In the second part aired today, You can listen to it here or read it here.
In the second piece, broadcast today, correspondent Elizabeth Shogren examines how the "byproducts of urban life" - lawn fertilizer, dishwasher detergents, motor vehicle exhaust and septic and sewage systems - also dump nitrogen and phosphorus into the bay. Those nutrients stimulate massive algae blooms that wind up creating a vast dead zone on the bay bottom every summer. You can read that story here.
(Baltimore Sun photos: Carole Morrison 2007 by Lloyd Fox; Thanksgiving traffic 2009 by Karl Merton Ferron)